gab meets world

stories from a hairy girl in a great big world

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Gab Meets a New Gab Meets World

For the few who follow: thanks for sticking around. I know it’s been a while.  

Lemme ‘splain maself doe bbz:

I started this blog back in February almost exclusively for the social media and blogging course I was taking. Great fun, good course overall, A+, would recommend. Once the class was over, however, I put it on my LinkedIn profile and forgot about it - like a good student in the summertime should. 

DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK…but I’m still here. And I’d like to stay, if you’ll have me. ~*bats eyelashes* *giggles softly* *flips hair* *squishes unimpressive B-cup-boobs together and hopes for the best*~

Let me back up for a quick second. I have thought about ditching this thing. A lot of times the projects you start with academia in mind aren’t really the cool projects you want to keep at, clean up, and bring home to mama…or link to your friends via email (there was a metaphor in there, somewhere).But alas, I think I set Gab Meets World up to be a flexible, though noob-y, little platform for all things Gab.

So. WIth that said.

Hiatus. Over.

And since I no longer have an A to chase, please expect more uninhibited Gab and less I’m-pretending-to-be-important-on-the-Internet-for-my professor’s-hopes-for-new-journalism.

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Gab Meets a Really Fucked Up World, Am I Right?

First of all, I don’t want to talk about how fucking crazy and sad the world is right now. If you have any general access to the Internet or any media source whatsoever, the chances are you already know. It sucks. It’s the worst terrible bullshit ever and I don’t understand why humans do monstrous things to other humans. 

But I don’t want to harp on it. I just want to hug you all, Internet. C’mere. Let it happen

That was nice, wasn’t it? You’re warmer and smaller than I remember. Did you get some work done? You look fantastic.

Anyways, I’d like to take this opportunity to show you some things that’ve helped me get through all the shitty-ness. So here’s to a less shitty 2013, all. And always remember, Gab loves you.

  1. Beautiful, amazing, funny, compassionate Queen Amy Poehler’s “Ask Amy” video from Smart Girls at the Party called “I love you Boston”. Not only do we get to look at that beautiful face for 3 minutes and 43 seconds, but Amy actually gives some useful advice  on how to keep on keepin’ on, despite all the crap going on in the world: 

  2. Mad Men's “Old Spanish” wink at 30 Rock in Sunday’s new episode. If nothing else can assure me that love is alive, an affair between my two favorite television shows sure can. image

  3. Time Magazine remembered to add some seriously inspiring, awesome and deserving people on the Time 100 Most Influential People in the World list this year. Because of their smart decisions, people all over the world will have a better idea of who to pay attention to, which could bring about some seriously good things. But more importantly, the Internet now has amazing/glorious/beautiful pictures like this one to reblog, drool over, and take our minds off things: image
  4. Patton Oswalt was incredibly present with the positive energy these past few weeks, and I loved every second of it. Not only did he pour his tortured little heart onto Facebook in this heartwrenching status of truth/love, but he also solved the worldwide crisis about what the fuck is going to happen with this Star Wars remake: 
  5. And, finally, this over-the-top sweet text message from my mom to me, and from me to you. Let’s just say I’m paying it forward.
    image

Filed under boston love humanity Amy Poehler parks and recreation mad men 30 rock patton oswalt hugs kisses xoxo jimmy fallon justin timberlake smart girls at the party

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Gab Meets Her Mentor

I met Kathleen Webber last semester at The College of New Jersey, where she was my professor of Magazine Writing. At the time, I was having some trouble finding my voice (on paper). While allowing me the freedom to explore my own style, she helped guide me toward my place within the writing world.  Ever since, she’s been a sort of mentor to me - for writing and for life in general.

On top of her amazing ability to teach and advise, she’s also a talented and successful writer in her own right. As you’ll learn, she started her career working in fashion, for and with the likes of Michael Kors and Oscar de la Renta. She built a career as a fashion writer and eventually tackled lifestyle, working for such publications as Self magazine, W magazine and Women’s Wear Daily.  The list goes on.

Needless to say, I thought it would be a shame if more people didn’t get the chance to meet her. So, ladies, gentlemen, and in-betweens of the Internet, meet my mentor….

Filed under gabmeetsworld interview Kathleen Webber writer mentor video

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Gab Meets 5th Grade Dreamboat, Farts, Ruins Everything

Once upon a fifth-grade lunchtime ritual, I was a round, thick-browed girl who inconspicuously ate her tunafish sandwich while all the other smooth-legged kids ate fruit-rollups.  I eventually grew into my brows and discovered the Lady-Bic as well as friends who pretended to respect my lunch. Also, my face is now my mother’s and my boobs are there; so using that logic, I can say that, although I am no Julia Roberts, I am not half-bad to look at. Men, who haven’t heard me speak, have even testified to this. But it was during my adolescence when I learned something that would essentially determine my current fate as a young, very single woman. It’s a lesson I like to call: “Boys like farts, but not your farts.”

originally published by the TCNJ Journal & on my other blog, obiwanbottoni:

Max  Turner* was just the dreamiest. That strawberry-blonde fuzz on his big head, those freckles that covered his pasty face, and those icy blue eyes that looked right past me…. I had to make him love me before my stupid, equally as freckled, cheerleading best-friend, Ashley*, got to him. One day in class, I decided to make my move. I’m a catch, I thought shortly before, during a bathroom break pep-talk with the mirror; we both like the rap song on Now That’s What I Call Music 11, and we both laughed at David* when he farted before, so this could work. Elementary school love apparently isn’t quite as simple as liking the same rapper or finding the same things funny. When I got back to class, I sat next to Max and tried to execute some of the flirty gestures I’d seen Ashley perform.  He said something funny and I giggled enthusiastically – not laughed – as I gave him “the eyes” and a flirty lean.  All my efforts turned to shit, not quite so literally, as the stress of attraction caused me to accidentally release a little toot. I laughed (I had to) and he laughed (too hard). He definitely heard that, I thought, but maybe he thinks it’s funny because he loves me…. And that might have been, had he not shouted, “you’re goofy, dude!”

I’ve never been ideal, but before I get all heavy and rant about how society holds these marginalizing ideals for women – that they should be hairless, submissive, non-farting, dainty dolls – I would like to instead point out that this was not the last time I have been denied by a male based on the sole fact that I did or said something overbearing or unladylike. While it’s no longer the farts, it’s now the crudeness of my particular humor that wards off the men.

Why can’t women be dangerously funny and still be attractive? Or, if we are both things, why are we considered to be some rare, exotic specimen? Since when has sexy and funny been at odds?  Have we forgotten what a sex-muffin young Betty White was, or that her current sex life is probably significantly better than all of ours combined? As Liz Lemon would say, it’s insulting to have to compose a list. (Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Gilda Radner, Tina Fey, Amy Poehler – NO! I won’t do it.) It’s the same macho ignorance that brought you intelligently crafted ideas like, “women aren’t funny.”  (I’m looking at you, ghost of Christopher Hitchens). His infamously icky 2007 Vanity Fair article, “Why Women Aren’t Funny,” equated making someone laugh to mating, and that men need only engage in this form of seduction. Because why would women benefit from seeing laughter from a man that is “real, out-loud, head-back, mouth-open-to-expose-the-full-horseshoe-of-lovely-teeth” if we have no penis to insert?  Humor is a dominating force, and according to the heterosexual macho men of Western society (and Sir Ghost Hitchens), it is reserved for them (…and sometimes “hefty or dykey or Jewish” women). But the reality for all women – even the sexy ones -  is that sometimes life calls for a little language that’s Sara Silverman-esque (and by that, I do not mean Jewish). 

To the sexy women who want to say horribly funny shit: the more of us there are, the less rare we become. Eventually, I predict, more men will stop being intimidated and start being turned on. And to those men who might agree with Hitchens: please try to keep it in your pants as we laugh proudly and open-mouthed at 30 Rock – a seventeen-time Emmy nominated comedy show created by the sexy woman who has won** seven Emmys, two Golden Globes, four Writers Guild of America Awards, and the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Now, if you don’t think Tina Fey is sexy, then that’s where the real problem lies.

 

*Names have been changed.

**Number of awards won is subject to increase exponentially with time.

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Gab Meets the Left Side of her Brain: Messy Public Data, Pollution, and Google Fusion

(I promise that the next post will be more fun.)

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post about covert racism, in which I touched on the environmental justice issues in Trenton, NJ. (“Touched” is a good word, because I’m seriously no environmental expert. But my aim is to understand.)

Since then, I’ve been playing around with various data and Google Fusion tables. While the tedious process of making public data less messy generally makes me want to rip my hair out, I thought, why not use this to see for myself exactly where these brownfields are in Trenton? If you don’t know what brownfields are, here is a very brief description:

"A brownfield is a commercial or industrial site currently vacant or underutilized that is or is suspected to be contaminated." 

Of course, before I could map the locations, I had to clean up the data using Google Refine (which was a pain in the ass to learn, by the way…I’m not exactly a tech expert.) But I managed.  Once I mapped all the Trenton brownfields, I realized that it didn’t really do anything for me other than visualize a set of data (which, don’t get me wrong, really is useful). But still, what was next? What am I looking for? What do I really want to see?


And then it dawned on me…some of these contaminated locations don’t actually look like big red dots on a map, or even brown, apocalyptic-looking, open “fields” like the term suggests. In reality (a.k.a. Google Maps satellite view), under some of these dots there must be homes, public places, water sources, gardens, and people. Gahhhhhhh. But a guess wasn’t enough to make a conclusion (maybe by the Internet’s standards, but not mine), so I had to do some investigating - Google Fusion style.  

Fast-forward through a few weeks of being totally confused out of my mind by the astronomic amount of messy public data available:

I decided to mash up the brownfield locations with the Trenton Certified Tax List (because I needed a hefty sample of addresses in Trenton in order to make a meaningful comparison). Once I mashed them together, I was able to visualize both sets of data on one map, located here.

Since I don’t know enough about property taxes, I can’t really speak to that portion the data without sounding like an idiot. But I can point out a few examples of the locations where people are either living or working on ground that is [or is expected to be] contaminated:

  1. Trenton Psychiatric Hospital, 100 Sullivan Way
  2. MillHill Family Center, 101 Oakland St.
  3. Trenton Performing Arts Center, 621 Hudson St.
  4. Trenton City Fire Dept., 59 S. Olden Ave
  5. The Foundry, 450 S. Broad St.
  6. North 25 Associates C/O Sterns, 260 N. Willow St. 
  7. Trenton District Energy CO LP, 320 S. Warren St.
  8. Trenton Greenway Anthony Storcella & Son Inc., 21 Nottingham Way
  9. Reither Bros. Garage, 1570 Princeton Ave.
  10. Cadillac Joe Servicenter, 546 Pennington Ave.

I was especially shocked by the first address. And it made me wonder, do these people even know what they’re working on? Well, they have to know, because they must, right? If they do know, what are they doing about it? Can they do anything about it? Are they worried? There are so many tracks to investigate. But the most important seem to be: why haven’t these brownfields been cleaned up? Is there even a cleanup effort in progress? Who is responsible for doing so? Where can their progress be tracked? 

To be continued by somebody, I’m sure… 

Filed under data mashup google fusion trenton brownfields pollution contamination

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Gab Meets Her Twin (at Target)

You know how they say everyone has a twin? Well, I think I found mine. And I’m going to tell you why you need to find yours. 

Twas a fine Saturday evening; my great pal Kate was up visiting Jersey for a few days, and since I hardly get to see her, we decided to really do it up, get wild, let our hair down, pull our skirts up, etc.. We were just two single, crazy gals - one pint-sized and ginger, the other wearing the same pants and TGS sweatshirt as the day before). So yeah, let’s just say the world wasn’t ready for all the shit we were about to tear up.

As usual, we started off our shenanigans at the AMC theater, where we caught the 7 o’clock showing of Oz The Great and Powerful because 1) we’re both very much attracted to both James Franco and Mila Kunis, 2) we heard it was visually stunning (it was), and 3) the rule of threes says this list should have a third reason.  When the movie was over, the night was still young. We were still young. The sky was infinite, the stars peered through the altostratus, and everything was beautiful. So we went where any two carefree 20-something-year-olds would go…

Target.

Ok, so the buildup was strange, I know. And I tried to make it funny - like, in an ironic-y way. But  - truthfully - there’s very little irony in this; we actually thoroughly enjoy the endless roaming of Target aisles at 10 o’clock at night.  Why, you ask? Well, one could say that the bountiful Target aisles are just as infinite as the stars (ugh). Or maybe we just haven’t grown into our adulthood yet. Whatever. The point is: we were in bliss. We were two assholes on the loose, and every item was a significant treasure. Observe:

Yo, Kate.  I just had a great idea. You see this soundtrack to the new Tyler Perry movie? We’re gonna buy it and give it to David on his birthday. And then, for the rest of Dave’s birthdays for all the rest of Dave’s life, he’s going to receive a Tyler Perry movie soundtrack.

Kate didn’t think it was as funny as I still think it is, but it is happening.

At another point in our Target adventure, we decided to play an improv game in which we recreated the moment we met (…only so that from then on, we could tell people we met in Target). Overall, I think the scene went well, but clearly we both decided beforehand to play aggressive lesbians…so it turned out a little differently than I thought it would. 

But shit really got wild when we got to the big wall of sunglasses.  With so many fancy/plastic options, we were automatically transported into an alternate reality which resembled some sort of knock-off Mary-Kate and Ashley movie. [Insert montage of two overly excited tweens trying on everything in reach and then cat-walking a well-lit Paris side street accompanied by a French model and every things works and nothing looks bad and we are famous and the photographer/cinematogrpaher catches it all]. 

If it feels like I’m giving you too many details, it’s only because I am. But hopefully said details have made you think something along the lines of: “Holy shit, what a couple of suburban nightmares. Was anyone else shopping in this store?? Wasn’t anybody annoyed by these weirdos??" Probably, yes. In fact, I can almost guarantee it. For, when me and Kate had our fill of Target fun (ready to hit Wal-Mart next), we turned around and there he was.

Yes, he. My twin was a he. A thirteen year-old he. And my twin had a twin. Or maybe that was Kate’s twin. He and his bud were discovering the majestic sunglass wonderwall as we were finishing up with it, and they were clearly enjoying it just as much, if not more than we had.  Kate and I headed toward the checkout, unjustifiably annoyed that they were stealing our bit, and minutes later they appeared again. This time, they trotted by us in search of more discount store fun, and my twin blurted out for all to hear:

Aw man!!! Let’s hit Wal-Mart next!! They’re open 24/7!!!”

So there I was. Standing in Target…on a Saturday night…for fun. This was a wake-up call. He who is my twin, was now my truth.

Hi, I’m Gab. And I’m a 13 year-old asshole with no life.

Anyhow, here’s the moral of this story: You need to track down and meet your twin. Because chances are, it’s an annoying preteen that will show you something very upsetting about yourself. And trust me, you need to be aware of it. Self-awareness is the first step of change. And that’s why Kate and I will be trying cocaine next time she visits.

Filed under target walmart asshole mary-kate and ashley oz the great and powerful james franco mila kunis twin twins saturday night tgs

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Gab Meets Boy, Boy Thinks Gab’s Body Hair is his Choice, Gab and Boy Don’t Work Out

Ah, hello. And welcome to the short (really short) chapter of Gab’s autobiography that is ironically called ”Love-Life”. Pretty recently, I had a bit of bad luck in the relationship area (don’t worry, I’m not sad about it), and voila! - single Gab is super single again (hit me up boyzzzz…….just kidding, don’t catfish me, Internet). Although this time around with monogamy was stupid and generally too anticlimactic to blog about, it did render a surprise visit from the Ghost of Relationships Past…and what she showed me wasn’t pretty (spoiler alert: see title), but it sure was blog-able.

Long story short: I once tried to have a thing with a guy who was basically a real wang about everything…especially my body. Here’s a list of examples of his shitty ways:

  1. He tried to dictate how I groomed myself.
  2. End of list because no further examples are necessary.
Needless to say, we didn’t work out.

Sometimes it can suck when two people don’t work, but other times it really doesn’t suck. Sometimes, like this time, it was definitely,100% for the best. But man, when I start to think about him, and when I start to think about this asenine, hairless expectation a lot of guys have for women…I get pissed off.

But I was young then, and I didn’t really stick up for myself. So this is my chance.

Here’s Gab ranting about why it’s okay to be hairy; I call this “The Hairy Girl’s Guide to Love” (originally published in the TCNJ Journal):

The do’s and don’ts of being a happy, hairy lady on the prowl

If you’re a hairy girl living in the western world, you’ve felt the distance between you and the bronze Venus goddesses gyrating across the television, hairless and glowing. As droplets from the most exotic oceans bead down their silky, baby-ass legs, you notice that the areas you’ve just attacked with a Lady- Bic have already prickled. If your next thought is, “So long, birth control boobs!” then you’re in for a surprise. These guidelines will help you embrace your fuzz and realize that you don’t need to be as smooth as those sexy illusions in order to get it on and find love.

1. DON’T waste money!

Whether it’s your legs, arms, uni-brow, lady-stache, or bush, your options are: shave, wax, bleach, or “Nair.” But the damn hair just keeps growing back - and fast! Supplies aren’t cheap, either. So if you can’t bear the thought of hair on your limbs/face, then let your carpets, drapes, and furry area rugs grow, and put all that cash toward something useful…like an education or “The Complete Elvis Presley Masters Collection Box Set” (I don’t know your life).

2. DO be healthy!

Whatever the trends are dictating about hair down there (aka your center for hairiness) - f**k it. When Morgan Freeman created humanity, he was like, “I think I’ll put some hair down there so it’s harder to get the herp.” What a guy. It’s scientifically proven (with science!) that being bald eagle can make it easier to get herpes and other things you wouldn’t want sent home to Mom in an Explanation of Benefits letter. So before you decide to hack it all off, consider it a beautiful protective blanket that’s helping you fight the good fight, and remember: herpes just isn’t in right now.

3. DO accept yourself!

The more embarrassed you feel in your birthday burka, the more likely you are to end up where people with low self-esteem usually end up - in my newsfeed, abusing Zuckerberg’s unnecessary “What’s on your mind?” and transforming Facebook into Sadbook (does he know what he’s done?). But let’s get back to your bod. If you want sexual attention, but don’t really want to dress like a hooker, then simply don’t dress like a hooker. Or do, if that’s just what you like (no shame over here, Julia Roberts). All I’m saying is: a) you should be just as comfortable in your clothes as I want you to be when you’re out of them; and b) I’m unfriending you on Facebook, Karen*.

*name has been changed

4. DO find someone who appreciates your stuff!

In the adult world, there are men* out there who are at peace with the female body. Some might say that they are even attracted to it. So maybe take a European for a spin. They’re hairy, you’re hairy. It works. Or let Twitter’s funny man/bear, Rob Delaney, give you a different perspective. He recently told Conan, “I like women who have hair on their bodies….I try to mount a little campaign…about like Cosmopolitan telling women ‘shave off the hair, melt it off!’ I’m like no, keep it and I’ll swing by.”

*I feel like I’ve been talking to the hetero-girl because it’s men who “generally” have the issue with shit like body hair. But of course, this article is for you too, girls who like girls.

5. DON’T give a f**k!

Whether your next move after reading this article is to keep it au naturale or to schedule another appointment for a terribly awkward bikini wax, make sure that you’re doing it because you want to, because you like yourself that way. It all boils down to confidence, ladies. Don’t give a f**k what anyone thinks about it and that, in itself, is your smoothest asset.

image

(image source)

Filed under hairy girls health beauty body hair hairy women relationships tcnj tcnjjournal

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Gab Meets “Intellectual” A-hole Whilst Standing in Line (for Something Expensive)

Not too long ago, Ben Marcus visited my college campus to read from his new book. After the reading (which was wonderful), of course, all the lit nerds on campus then formed a buzzing, single-file line before him, where he signed a stack of his works and sold them to us one-by-one, while engaging in tiny conversations consistiting of things like “hi, what’s your name?” and “thanks so much for coming!

Now, if these short-lived interactions between author and reader seem impersonal, it’s only because they are. I mean, inherently so. It only makes sense that when there’s a long line of fans with a wad of money and a handshake ready, that the interaction be somewhat brief. It’s simple line-etiquette. Sure, the crushing sense of inferiority of being in the presence of the published might cause you to throw in a gushing expression of admiration - which is fine - but other than that the whole thing proceeds pretty rapidly. You tell him your name because he asked, he scribbles a short message and an illegible signature on the title page, and you both end up saying “thank you” for different reasons. It’s understood - this is how these things should go.

And then it’s over. And it should be over. Right? Because - obviously - when you’re standing in a line with other people who are waiting (not one of the most popular hobbies amongst New Jersey college students), a full length discussion about applied literary technique is probably not practical at the moment…right? Well, for one incredibly annoying asshole, it was.

This a-hole just happened to be the same jagweed who was standing exactly in front of me in line. So there I was - waiting. They got through the name exchange, the scribbles, and the thank yous quickly enough…but then he started gushing - and not the kind of gushing to which Ben Marcus could simply give a bashful thank you.  Instead of something like ”I really enjoyed all your books” or “I think you’re a brilliant writer”, this wang decided to steamroll the author with all these insanely bullshitty, intellectual blah-blah-blahs like:

the psychological process of internalizing each letter of every word is in itself an increasingly complex system of which is correlated directly to my smartassery blarg bleep blorp bloop….”  

His blabbering could clearly be translated as:

I am smart aren’t I smart I say so many smart things are you impressed do you think we are on the same level of smart because I think we are do you like the way I’m not letting you get a word in edgewise yeah I’m doing that on purpose so you don’t end this conversation before I get to my point that does not exist I never want this to end I see my soul in the glare of the beautiful bald orb that is your big smart head I’ve never been on a date with a real girl before….

And so on until he felt satisfied enough to leave.

At the time, I couldn’t tell if he was truly out of line or if I was just cranky from hunger, but I thought of this guy today and the whole thing made me laugh.

And then it made me think: What if Ben Marcus was his hero?

What if, because he felt as strongly about Ben Marcus’s books as I do about 30 Rock, his blabbering attempt to sound intelligent was actually a terribly executed strive to impress and relate to his idol? As nauseating as he was, I can’t help but wonder what the actual fuck I would do or say if I ever really met Tina Fey (stay tuned for a post about this). Would I be an asshole, too? If so, I’m sure some creepy people-watcher will then blog about me being an asshole while laughing  by herself in a lonely college dorm as she shoves cheese into her face in order to feed an ambiguous emotional void. And she probably won’t be wearing pants. 

Still: People who hold up lines are the worst. Oh, and that book cost like 30 bucks. What the fuck, Ben? Just kidding. (Not about the price, about the hostility. And the whole first name basis thing…I liked your book. And I don’t have anything smart to say about it). 

Filed under asshole ben marcus college tina fey people life

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Gab Meets Black People (but, more importantly, covert racism)

*[edited on 4/25/13]

I realize this title’s weird in a “wait is this post going to be racist?” kind of way.  Don’t worry, it won’t be. But, while approaching a difficult subject, I will try to avoid (in probably an awkward way) the typical white-guilt mantra of, “I see no color - we are all the same!” I don’t want to mislead you - this post will be about two black people I’ve met over the past two weeks. And I do want you to know that they are black, and far more connected than I to a specific history from which they cannot be uprooted - especially not by a goofy white girl from New Jersey. But I’m bringing this up now because holy crap they taught me a whole bunch about covert racism.

My first encounter was with an Italian director named Fred Kuwornu. He came to my college to present two documentaries: the first, “18 Ius Soli”, deals with the way Italy denies citizenship to children of immigrants - people who do not have “Italian blood.

A few days later, I met Nicky Sheats, the director of the Center for Urban Environment at the John S. Watson Institute for Public Policy, and a member of the New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance - New Jersey’s only statewide environmental organization that focuses solely on environmental issues. During one of my classes, he shed light on the issues that concern particulate matter air pollution, its cumulative risk and impacts (which include 50,000 annual deaths), and those individuals in New Jersey who are “overburdened” by them - specifically the minorities in urban communities. 

Now, I don’t have to be an expert in either immigration or the environment to notice the blatant, underlying theme of both of these experiences. And, actually, the realization involved hardly any effort on my end, as it decided on its own to punch me in the brain. I, as a human being with the ability to comprehend a situation using logic, then saw what is wrong here. So I’m going to give you a couple of relative scenarios, and we’ll see if you can do the same:

  1. First scenario: You are born in Italy. You spend your entire childhood going to school in Italy, eating Italian food in Italy, reading Italian books written in the Italian language in Italy, enjoying Italian music & art in Italy, talking shit about one of your Italian friends in Italy to another one of your Italian friends in Italy behind the first Italian friend’s Italian back…in Italy, etc. When you turn 18, however, you do not have what it takes to be Italian. (This is where you ask: What does it take to be Italian, Gab?) ITALIAN BLOOD. (Uh ok, Gab, but who actually has Italian blood?) Coincidentally, my curious readers, lots and lots of short, hairy white people
  2. Second scenario: You live in Trenton, New Jersey. You are a minority - like 73% of the people around you. Everyday you breathe in airborne particulate matter - the same matter that causes tens of thousands of deaths in the U.S. annually, and the same polluting matter left behind by the hundreds of brownfields that just happen to populate only the urban cities. (Wait, Gab, this pollution comes from factories - and everybody knows factories are bad for the environment, but everybody else has to deal with it, too - right, Gab? Right?) Nope. Pretty much just you…and other people that look like you, and who are economically in the shitter like you.

Basically, this is the type of information that I faced when I met these guys. And yes - it’s uncomfortable. But it needs to be talked about. At first glance, one might think, well it’s a coincidence, right? Immigrants just happen to be black…the people suffering the most from pollution just *happen* to be black and poor. And that’s actually what I initially thought; but when faced with the intimate scenarios presented in Kuwornu’s documentary, and the overwhelming statistics called upon by Sheats, I had to go the cynical route.  So excuse me if I sound cliché, but this shit is racist! And maybe it’s not blatantly obvious, but something’s not right, AMERICA (and Italy). Unfortunately, like I stated before, I am no expert. And you’re totally welcome to tell me your thoughts on the matter.

At the end of the day, I have no real idea about how to deal with heavy stuff like this; but I’d like to think humor is the way. So here’s a couple videos of Louis C.K. explaining white privilege:

(Warning: Don’t watch this unless you understand satire.)

Filed under covert racism 18 ius soli brownfields pollution environmental justice louis c.k. racism